- The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Deutsche Polizei: The German Police

Photo:  A propaganda postcard encourages cooperation with the police. The motto reads; "The Police: Your Friend, Your Helper."

Police units, both civilian and military, have been a long standing tradition in Germany.  Their history and service records proceed the turbulent days of World War II.  Serving with honor and dignity many German men chose civilian law enforcement as a professional career before the rise of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party.

During World War II, and even during the early days of the National Socialist Party, a combination of state, government, military, and political organizations gave rise to a multitude of police formations.  With integrated cooperation and at times overlapping responsibilities, the German Police (Deutsche Polizei) held great responsibility in Greater Germany and its occupied territories.  Policemen served in many different capacities ranging from the usual crime prevention duties to those associated with assisting the military.  In some cases, the German Police were directly involved in supporting the activities of the SS (Schutzstaffel).  In these situations, police units were often involved in collecting and imprisoning those people deemed "undesirable" by National Socialist standards.  While not universally true of all policemen, one cannot escape the fact that the German Police helped to enforce National Socialist ideals among the civilian population in World War II .

Many of the early police organizations were formed in the mid-1930's for the sole purpose of secretly training men to eventually lead military units in the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS.  These units were created with the intent of training men to serve in the military under the disguise of being "police" units.  This secret plan was in fact a method by which Germany could field a training military force without directly adhering to the restrictions outlined by the Versailles Treaty.  While some units received military training, other police groups were organized with more civilian related duties in mind.  These police groups were those that helped to guard factories and railroads, fight fires, and keep order within cities during bombing raids.  Some police units were organized to serve a more sinister line of duty.  These were the special security forces that helped to collect, relocate, and eventually destroy people deemed unsuitable to the Third Reich and its party leaders.  Working in concert with the General-SS (Allgemeine-SS), these police formations enforced the will of Hitler's National Socialist Party.

As one might suspect, most German Police units wore steel helmets as protective headgear.  The variety of helmets worn by German Police units differed in style and function depending on the organization's tasks and responsibilities.  The types of helmets worn could be those designed only for combat, as well as many that were made simply to be worn as lightweight or medium duty protective headgear.  The number of helmet styles that were used by German Police units was quite extensive, although all of the styles fell under certain color and insignia standards despite their model types.  Fire Protection Police helmets were often similar to standard civic model police helmets save for a large aluminum comb that crossed over the top of the helmet.

The role of the various police groups organized during the Third Reich was vast and numerous.  A very complex system of total control was established in Germany by making most service organizations fall under the direct control of the Order Police (Ordnungspolizei).  Overall, the goal of Heinrich Himmler was to have all police organizations fall under his direct control.  This was intended to insure that the entire National Socialist State was a "police controlled" country.  For the most part, this goal was fully achieved during the Third Reich ensuring that the German Police were able to enforce national, political, and military objectives within Hitler's regime.


Each section of is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.  

Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related.  Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.

This Information Track provides historical facts pertaining to steel helmets worn by units and organizations of the German Police from 1933-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

Main Tracks

Helmet Types

Helmet Decals

Unattributed Configurations

Related Topics

The following related topics are helpful when examining the history and characteristics of German Police helmets.

Austrian World War I Style Schutzpolizei Helmet.  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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